In this month’s Marketing Automation Report, Chris will discuss software options for WordPress-based personalization. 

Website personalization is the ability to display customized messaging on a single page for multiple visitors. It is one of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rates and truly personalize the customer journey. 

This report will compare a variety of WordPress plug-in options to help you easily decide which may be the best tool for your business. 

For these tools we will be assessing them with the following criteria:

  • Url parameter w/fallback – take any variable present in the url and place its value anywhere on the page, if the variable you’re trying populate is blank you should be able to place a default value in its place
  • WordPress Page Builder Integration – Set visibility of entire page builder blocks
  • Integration with CRM – Set visibility based on tags and/or custom fields in your CRM
  • Documentation – how easy is it to follow and learn the platform (given it is very technical in nature)
  • Ease of Use Rank – How easy does the plugin allow you to create a customized experience

Get Params

This is where my website personalization journey began. This plugin is free and I’ve been using it for a while without any issue or error. Recently, I checked the status of the plugin and, at the time, it appeared it hadn’t been updated in over 3 years.

That is a major concern for me and is what led me to search the market for alternatives in the event I need to replace this good ‘ol trusty plugin. Since then, however, I have been checking the WordPress plugin repository and it appears the plugin has been updated to WordPress version 5.2.9 (about a year ago and 5.6 is the latest WordPress version at the time of writing this article).

Given the plugin isn’t too out of date. I would still recommend its usage as a free gateway into website personalization. It doesn’t have the greatest documentation or any integrations with WordPress builders or CRMs but it is very functional for dynamic text placement via url variables.

What I like:

  • Price
  • Functionality

What I don’t like:

  • No integration with WordPress beyond shortcodes (no way to build the shortcodes within the WordPress editor either)
  • Poor documentation
  • Restricted to url parameters (I know, I know…they literally named it for this one function)

Ease of use ranking: 2 (pretty difficult), due to its lack of WordPress integration

If-So

If-So was the first tool suggested to me and it’s where my exploration began. The website was nice and easy to follow along with some helpful videos that helped me understand how this tool integrates with WordPress. 

The one thing they introduced that I hadn’t initially thought of while using GetParams was integrating with other software (beyond your CRM). Though the integration list for them is short it was nice to see.

What I liked:

  • Conditions.The amount of conditions they provide you to personalize from (date, location, timezone, device type, search term, IP, utm parameters, etc)
  • Analytics. This is the only tool that I’ve seen over any form of analytics to see how your personalization is performing
  • Pricing. Especially if you took advantage of the AppSumo $49 lifetime deal.
  • Support. Team is extremely responsive.

What I don’t like:

  • Documentation. It will get the job done but could definitely be more detailed (more videos would help). They make for this a bit with their fast support response.
  • Page Builders. It mentions they integrate with all of the main ones but don’t give you the ability to set conditions on the various blocks themselves.
  • Integrations. They have some but the list could definitely be a lot better.


Ease of use ranking: 3 (moderate), needs a better page builder integration

Cosmos

Cosmos is an interesting tool. It appears to be created by a marketer (which I like), but has the smallest feature set. They function solely on shortcodes (I’m finding this pretty standard), and you can access their shortcode builder only by settings or the WordPress text editor. 

Simple, one-size pricing seems to be a bit on the high end for the features it’s lacking with respect to the other offers.

What I like:

  • Documentation. Lots of videos that provide marketing context as well as instructions on how to use the plugin

What I don’t like:

  • Page Builder Integration. Non-existent. They treat using the text editor module as an integration
  • Feature Set. Not enough features to be competitive
  • Price. Limited feature set with respect to price 

Ease of use: 2 (pretty difficult), sacrifice functionality by limiting usage to shortcode building only.

LogicHop

Logic Hop had the strongest website presentation and probably the most robust and feature rich option so far. It has a library of integrations and is the only one I’ve found that integrates with your CRM. 

I really like how they demo the power of their plugin on their site as you’re browsing. Technically, they check every box for the criteria I used to assess these tools. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t express my extreme disappointment with them integrating with Hubspot, Drip, and Convertkit but not ActiveCampaign.

But I’ll give them points for having a very responsive pre-sales support team.

What I like:

  • Integrations. So much potential here
  • Page Builder Integration. Finally a tool that allows you to set conditions on page building modules
  • Documentation. They have articles with videos that cover practically every aspect of the plugin

What I don’t like:

  • ActiveCampaign Integration. Sure I didn’t hold any other plugin to this standard but they integrate with other “not as popular” CRMs. Why not ActiveCampaign?

Ease of use: 4 (pretty easy) due to its logic builder integrating with the WordPress text editor and page builder settings

NOTE: LogicHop is the only plugin that provides a data plan. Though not required, for sites with a lot of traffic you can purchase a data plan to store all of the information you’re tracking on your website instead of theirs. 

ThriveThemes

ThriveThemes has the best documentation and use cases, hands down, of all plugins mentioned. So much so, I recommend reading this article to get a better understanding of what website personalization is and some examples of how you can use it.

Shane’s dedication to provide the best marketing platform and tools to marketers by way of WordPress is unquestionable. He has consistently produced high quality content and marketing products for digital marketers globally.

What I like:

  • All Inclusive. No additional software (or plugins) required to use personalization
  • Short Learning Curve. Thrive makes it extremely simple to insert keywords from the url or personalize text
  • Price. Did I mention it’s included at no additional charge?

What I don’t like:

  • Page Builder Integration. I was surprised to find out that this functionality is not available for page building elements. Especially with their own page builder.
  • Url Parameters Only. As great as it is it only works with url parameters making it more of competition for Get Params (which is free as well and works with ANY WordPress site)

Ease of use: 5 (simple implementation and strong functionality wins every time)

Honorable Mentions

A couple honorable mentions for RightMessage and UseProof. Both of which are standalone web personalization products that integrate with your CRM and provide WordPress plugins for easy integration with your site. They are not, however, WordPress plugins that perform personalization only as the tools listed in this report.

Closing Notes

Big shout out to community members Kronda Adair of Karvel Digital and Oob Nding for their much appreciated input on a few of these WordPress plugins.

One of the many perks of joining the Automation Bridge Community is having engaging conversations around the latest happenings and discoveries in the marketing automation industry. Want to join them and other members discussing all things marketing automation?

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Which of these options have you used? What did you like or dislike about it? Share in the comments below.

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